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Surrounded by Love

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them. ~Numbers 6:24-27

sun

My time as a medical student is closing up. I am graduating this Sunday and the church out where I’m at this month is one that I was blessed enough to be at for 6 of the last 24 months.  They have allowed me to sing a solo, a duet, and play the drums. I have been used to give messages, to increase faith, and see Him move in ways I never imagined. Last night at the end of service they gave me a graduation gift and had me speak.  As I have reflected on it and my last few years, I can clearly see just how much God has loved me and seen me through SUCH painful times of my life.  He has uplifted me when a guy who had promised a “forever” future with me shortly thereafter withdrew from me and broke my heart. He has picked the pieces up when friends have forsaken me.  He has given me new hopes, new dreams, and new people to love me.  I added the above scripture because I truly feel that from those who love me- they want God to shine upon my life.  They want good things to happen to me. They want the road to meet me.

Thank You Jesus!

Thank You that my life is surrounded by love.  As this chapter of my life closes up soon, let it be that YOU are all I need. May Your love continue to surround me as You allow others to come into my life to love me as well.  Such blessings- amazing Godly parents, friends who would never leave me, and soon, on Sunday, I will be called doctor. WOW! Thank You Jesus!

I praise You God!

I thank YOU!

Thank You Jesus for surrounding my life in YOUR love!!!

With a grateful heart,

Rebekah M.

Prayer Monday: Purge Me

I haven’t been doing so well lately.  Something in me is restless. I found myself easily angered by stupid things. I found myself frustrated beyond belief unnecessarily. I found myself recently failing a trial. Today while driving home, I just poured my heart out. Sobbing to the One who can comfort me, I told Him just how much I was sorry for failing once again. I told Him how much I just wanted to be free of the things that seem to trip me up.  I was torn up and broken before Him. In that time though, of truly allowing my heart to be open before Him, I found Him just going in and dumping out all the muck. He dug in, taking out the things that I have no power to take out on my own. As He did His work, I felt His incredible sorrow that I wrote about ME feeling for a friend of mine (in the post God’s Sorrow)… but His sorrow was just as deep and directed AT ME.  Then… as I poured more of myself out, I felt Him opening up my heart and letting His light shine. To bring back life and hope. So that I could feel His forgiveness. To see His divine purpose.  To realize that He had more things to burn away from my soul, but that everything is allowed in an effort so that I can be His light. So that I will be ready for the ministry He has in store for me.

So reader, if you feel led to, join me in this prayer:

Jesus, 

I’m desperate for You. I’m longing for You. Come like a flood, purge me of myself, and saturate me now with You. You’re all I want. Clean out everything within me, burn out the bad in me, and make me whole and new in You. As my dad once prayed for me, give me a new bottle… all the different kinds of bottles that hold all the different kinds of promises- of family, of jobs, of friends, of ministry… give us all new bottles- ones filled with hope and YOUR blessings. Things that seem dead and stale in our lives and hearts, purge them, and replace them with YOU.  Be everything in our lives. Fill every last crevice that was cleaned out as You purged us. Fill it with Your love, Your purpose, Your plan.  Use us to share Your good news! You are alive! You want to give us good lives! Praise You Jesus! Praise You God! 

Rebekah M. 

P.S. Below I’ve put a video up of a song I recently put on facebook. This song is still resonating in my heart today, even stronger actually.

Song of the Day: Jesus be the Center

With my medical school days wrapping up soon and all the changes that come along with that, I have noted a slight shift. There are so MANY possible distractions. There are potential unnecessary arguments, potential unneeded activities, and more to take me away from the main thing- Jesus.  As this song says, Jesus be the center of it all.  May my day revolve around Him and pleasing Him.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this isn’t the first time I’ve posted this song, but we can never truly remind ourselves about this point too much.  Everything is NOTHING without Him.

So Jesus, rule in my life.  Rule in my conversations.  Rule in my every day living.  Be my center. Be my rock that everything is built on.  Let my life reflect You, Jesus. 

Rebekah M.

Song of the Day: Show Jesus by Jamie Grace

Last night I had an interesting conversation with a recent acquaintance of mine. He wanted to know my thoughts on homosexuality.  It was pretty clear he went in with the idea that if I said it was wrong that he would never speak to me again. I prayed for wisdom on what words to say- not because I so deeply cared if he left my life (he really isn’t any part of my life)- but because all times can be a moment to bring people closer to understanding principles of God.   I honestly don’t want to delve into my stance because this topic is controversial and I like keeping my posts about my personal main focus in life: showing God’s love.

I wrote a bit about this before in my post “The God of Love”.  I think the amazing part of everything is that by the end of the conversation I stood by the Bible but I also opened his eyes to the fact that just because one may not agree with someone else, it doesn’t mean they have to hate them nor shun them.  This Jesus, He is all about bringing people together and having peace be in the midst.  We don’t have to fight or hurt others.  Just show them Jesus. Show them love and God will do the rest and reveal as He wills. Let your light be so bright- the light of His love- that it’s evident who you are for.

In love,

Rebekah M.

 

Related Post:

https://beingrebekah.com/2013/03/31/the-god-of-love/

Stretch Forth Thine Hand

And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. ~ Mark 3:1-5

God had used this passage of verses before to touch my heart as I wrote about back in October last year.  These past few days, God allowed me the chance to go to a ladies’ conference which has been SO good for my soul!  One of the nights, they had “prayer tunnel” created by having two lines facing each other of ministers’ wives and all the ladies lined up to walk in between the two lines. As you walked through, the ministers’ wives prayed over us. As I went through something in my so deeply prayed for a husband and for God to just do whatever else He wanted with my life- use me as He will, move me where He will, keep me with my sicknesses or take them away.  As I finished up handthe line I went to sit back in my seat and felt the need to open my Bible. It automatically fell on the above passage and instantly I felt God saying that He wanted to make the final healing in my heart.  I will NEVER be ready for Isaac without a fully healed heart.  As I allowed the words to sink in, I cried, thanking God and I stretched forth first one hand and then the other.  Tears streaming down, I let go of the things in my heart. I stretched my hands out in faith, believing Him faithful to heal me.  I post this in faith, continuing to believe that I was healed! My heart is whole- whole from Ex #1, whole from Ex #2, even whole from giving up the third guy- unofficially an ex… from consciously choosing God over the first guy to treat me like gold.  I know I made the right choice and either he’ll come to God and we’ll end up together, or God will send someone else- but I know more than ever that I did make the right choice and that I have hope.  I have hope that God will honor my choice- that He will not leave my soul in pain unless there is a plan and a reason- even if it’s because my Isaac has more to grow before he’s ready to be the man I need.  I trust you God, I trust You Jesus. I stretched forth my hand and I am healed!!!

Rebekah M.

Related post:

https://beingrebekah.com/2012/10/07/forgiveness-and-renewal-revisited/

Reaching People with Love

Love God Love People

Last week I wrote about Praying with a Muslim co-worker. Surprisingly of the two posts I have written on this topic, only one commenter has said anything negative. I actually expected it to be much more controversial than it has proven to be. I made a decision to respond to the negative comment privately (instead of on our site) after I visited his blog and discovered that he loves to have long, drawn-out, and very viscous public arguments. Indeed even our private conversation became a painful attack very quickly. I’m not afraid of controversy, but I like to limit negativity. There is a difference. The thing is, I love my Muslim co-worker. I do not agree with her religion, but I love her. For that reason I feel protective of her and don’t want her or others like her to be subjected to the kinds of hateful things he was writing in his emails to me. Everyone has the right to free speech – on their own blog. On my posts, however, I choose not to subject myself or our readers to hateful speech. It’s the same as how in your house you are free to watch any kind of television program you wish to, but in my own house I choose not to subject myself to ungodly programming.

I will say though that this person brought up some points that made me realize some people may misunderstand the nature of my interactions with my Muslim co-worker. I considered posting his entire initial comment here so that I could go through it point by point, but it would make for a very long post and I want the focus of this post to be love. But I’ve decided in the future that I may allow the initial negative comment to be posted, along with my response, but then limit subsequent dialog if it starts spiraling down the rabbit hole. Those are just my own thoughts, the other Rebekahs may handle comments on their posts differently.

Here’s the thing, people are won to the Lord by love. They are not won through clever arguments, coercion, or Bible thumping. They are certainly not won through curses, threats, or hate. Rebekah M. recently wrote about this in her post: The God of Love. You see, it was the LOVE of God that compelled Him to die on a cross for me. When the Lord talked with the Samaritan woman at the well He did not attack her with ugly words. He did not ignore her (which was customary in His day). He did not condemn her. The Samaritan woman had at least three things going against her: first, she was a woman. Generally men wouldn’t speak to women who weren’t in the presence of a male relative. Second, she was a Samaritan. Samaritans were considered to be lower than dogs to the Jewish people. Their worship was tainted with pagan rituals and beliefs. Third, she was a woman of ill-repute. She lived a very ungodly lifestyle. None of this stopped Jesus from reaching out to her. He had compassion on her. His compassion didn’t mean that He condoned her activity, no, He was honest with her and told her she needed the living water that only He could offer. He treated her with love.

Likewise, I am doing my best to love the people around me with a godly love. My Muslim co-worker knows I don’t agree with her religion. We have had many conversations about who Jesus is and what He did. I am praying that one day she will get the revelation that what I’m telling her isn’t just what I believe, it is TRUTH.

I can completely understand people being uncomfortable with what I’m doing with my Muslim co-worker, especially as it relates to our mutual prayers. I myself have gone into this with much caution and prayers. I have saturated it in prayers. My personal prayers every single day are for God’s will in this situation. We have also prayed about this many times in our family prayers. People at church have prayed. I have asked God to close the door if He isn’t in it. But the door has remained open and I have seen how He is drawing her through this. She’s asking many more questions about Jesus now. Our conversations are focused on God. She wants to know more about what I believe. She wants to know more about Him. She doesn’t yet realize that what is holding her back from knowing Him is the weight of tradition and the comfort of ritual. She doesn’t yet realize that it is her fear of familial and cultural expectations that are blinding her, but I believe in a God who knows how to take off the blinders!

One thing this commenter wrote to me was how Muslims pray towards Mecca and that by doing that with her I’m praying toward an idol. Actually, he’s made an assumption (which I can understand because my post wasn’t very clear) that isn’t true. I pray next to her, but we don’t face the same direction. I actually do that on purpose. She prays on the floor on her prayer mat while I pray seated at my desk which faces a different direction. As I mentioned in my first post on this topic, it is much more like we are praying at the same time, rather than praying together. The thing is, she is going to pray regardless, with or without me being present. Because my office is one of the few places she can do this, I’m almost always going to be there. I can choose to sit silently while she praises Allah, or I can choose to lift of the name of Jesus.  If I’m there praying in the Name of Jesus, there is a chance she will feel His Spirit move in a way she hasn’t felt before. There is a chance she will feel HIM reaching out to her. There is a chance my prayers will awaken something in her that will lead her to Truth. It is very clear to both of us that the focus of our prayers is different. She knows I’m praying to Jesus and that I believe He is the only way.

Condemning her won’t win her to the Truth, only love can do that. I remember very clearly sitting in a church service where the preacher was talking about something controversial. He got the whole congregation laughing and poking fun of people. What he didn’t know is that I came out of the lifestyle he was making fun of. When the congregation started laughing, it felt extremely personal, like they were all laughing at me. Even though none of them knew about my past, it was a humiliating experience for me. I didn’t feel love, I felt contempt. If the Lord had not already converted me, I’m sure I never would have stepped foot in a church again.

We need to be sensitive and compassionate if we want to win people to the Lord. Yes, it’s VERY important that we don’t participate in ungodly activities, but the best way to separate someone from their ungodly ways, is to show them the love of Jesus. Jesus won me with love, and I have faith that He will win my Muslim co-worker with love as well.

In His Love,

Rebekah L

Praying with a Muslim Part II – Friend of God

Those of you who have been fMuslim Woman Prayingollowing this blog for awhile know that about a month and a half ago I had the opportunity to pray with a Muslim co-worker.  You can read the original post here. What you may not know, is that these prayers have continued and my relationship with this co-worker has deepened during this time.

As a devout Muslim, my co-worker has to pray at least five times a day at specific times. There are relatively few places she can do this where we work. Since I have one of the few offices, and the only truly private office in the building she comes to do these prayers in my office a few times a week.  While she prays to Allah, I pray in the name of Jesus. My prayers are focused on one thing – her salvation. I pray for Jesus to reveal Himself to her. I pray that she will feel the Holy Spirit moving in my office.  I pray that she will get a revelation of who He is.

On Friday she came in for her mid-afternoon prayers and I sat next to her praying to Jesus. After she finished praying she looked at me in a way I have never seen her look at me. She had this amazed and almost bewildered look on her face. Then she said in a sort of confused tone, “You are not Muslim, but I think God told me you are His friend. I don’t think I’m His friend, but I think you’re His friend.”

This truly was amazing! I don’t feel much like God’s friend with all the mistakes I’ve been making lately, but I do believe God was trying to tell her something. Is it possible that He was trying to convey to her that I know Him in a way that she doesn’t? Perhaps if she believes I am His friend, she will be more open to listening to what I have to say about Him.

NailsI believe He is slowly revealing Himself to her and I have faith that He is going to transform her life. Will you believe God with me? Will you pray for my Muslim friend to come to know that Jesus is her Savior? I am looking forward to the day when she will declare that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life!

In His Love,

Rebekah L